COOKING TERMINOLOGY (Alphabetical Order):
Italian term used to describe pasta that is cooked until it offers a slight resistance to the bite.
To cook by dry heat, usually in the oven.
To moisten foods during cooking with pan drippings or special sauce to add flavor and prevent drying.
A mixture containing flour and liquid, thin enough to pour.
To mix rapidly in order to
To immerse in rapidly boiling water and allow to cook slightly.
To incorporate two or more ingredients thoroughly.
To heat a liquid until bubbles break continually on the surface.
To cook on a grill under strong, direct heat.
To heat sugar in order to turn it brown and give it a special taste.
To cut solids into pieces with a sharp knife or other chopping device.
To separate and remove solids from a liquid, thus making it clear.
To soften a fat, especially butter, by beating it at room temperature. Butter and sugar are often creamed together, making a smooth, soft paste.
To preserve meats by drying and salting and/or smoking.
To dissolve the thin glaze of juices and brown bits on the surface of a pan in which food has been fried, sauteed or roasted. To do this, add liquid and stir and scrape over high heat, thereby adding flavor to the liquid for use as a sauce.
To remove fat from the surface of stews, soups, or stock. Usually cooled in the refrigerator so that fat hardens and is easily removed.
To cut food in small cubes of uniform size and shape.
To cause a dry substance to pass into solution in a liquid.
To sprinkle or coat with flour or other fine substance.
To sprinkle drops of liquid lightly over food in a casual manner.
To sprinkle food with dry ingredients. Use a strainer or a jar with a perforated cover, or try the good, old-fashioned way of shaking things together in a
To break lightly into small pieces.
To flame foods by dousing in some form of potable alcohol and setting alight.
To incorporate a delicate substance, such as whipped cream or beaten egg whites, into another substance without releasing air bubbles. Cut down through mixture with spoon, whisk, or fork; go across bottom of bowl, up and over, close to surface. The process is repeated, while slowing rotating the bowl, until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
To cook in hot fat. To cook in a fat is called pan-frying or sauteing; to cook in a one-to-two inch layer of hot fat is called shallow-fat frying; to cook in a deep layer of hot fat is called deep-fat frying.
To decorate a dish both to enhance its appearance and to provide a flavorful foil. Parsley, lemon slices, raw vegetables, chopped chives, and other herbs are all forms of garnishes.
To cook with a thin sugar syrup cooked to crack stage; mixture may be thickened slightly. Also, to cover with a thin, glossy icing.
To rub on a grater that separates the food in various sizes of bits or shreds.
From the French word for "crust." Term used to describe any oven-baked dish--usually cooked in a shallow oval gratin dish--on which a golden brown crust of bread crumbs, cheese or creamy sauce is form.
To process solids by hand or mechanically to reduce them to tiny particles.
To cut vegetables, fruits, or cheeses into thin strips.
To work and press dough with the palms of the hands or mechanically, to develop the gluten in the flour.
Neither cool nor warm; approximately body temperature.
To flavor and moisturize pieces of meat, poultry, seafood or vegetable by soaking them in or brushing them with a liquid mixture of seasonings known as a marinade. Dry marinade mixtures composed of salt, pepper, herbs or spices may also be rubbed into meat, poultry or seafood.
Dredged with flour and sauteed in butter.
To cut or chop food into extremely small pieces.
To combine ingredients usually by stirring.
To cook uncovered in a hot fry pan, pouring off fat as it accumulates.
To cook in small amounts of fat.
To boil until partially cooked; to blanch. Usually this procedure is followed by final cooking in a seasoned sauce.
To remove the outermost skin of a fruit or vegetable.
To remove the peels from vegetables or fruits.
To preserve meats, vegetables, and fruits in brine.
A pinch is the trifling amount you can hold between your thumb and forefinger.
To remove pits from fruits.
Cooked on a thick hardwood plank.
To soak dried fruits in liquid until they swell.
To cook very gently in hot liquid kept just below the boiling point.
To mash foods until perfectly smooth by hand, by rubbing through a sieve or food mill, or by whirling in a blender or food processor.
To boil down to reduce the volume.
To run cold water over food that has been parboiled, to stop the cooking process quickly.
To make solid fat into liquid by melting it slowly.
To cook by dry heat in an oven.
To cook and/or brown food in a small amount of hot fat.
To bring to a temperature just below the boiling point.
To bake a food, usually in a casserole, with sauce or other liquid. Crumbs often are sprinkled over.
To cut narrow grooves or gashes partway through the outer surface of food.
To brown very quickly by intense heat. This method increases shrinkage but develops flavor and improves appearance.
To cut or tear in small, long, narrow pieces.
To put one or more dry ingredients through a sieve or sifter.
To cook slowly in liquid over low heat at a temperature of about 180°. The surface of the liquid should be barely moving, broken from time to time by slowly rising bubbles.
To remove impurities, whether scum or fat, from the surface of a liquid during cooking, thereby resulting in a clear, cleaner-tasting final produce.
To cook in steam in a pressure cooker, deep well cooker, double boiler, or a steamer made by fitting a rack in a kettle with a tight cover. A small amount of boiling water is used, more water being added during steaming process, if necessary.
To extract color, flavor, or other qualities from a substance by leaving it in water just below the boiling point.
To destroy micro organisms by boiling, dry heat, or steam.
To simmer slowly in a small amount of liquid for a long time.
To mix ingredients with a circular motion until well blended or of uniform consistency.
To combine ingredients with a lifting motion.
To beat rapidly to incorporate air and produce expansion, as in heavy cream or egg whites.
COOKING UTENSILS/EQUIPMENT (Basics):
Freezer bags (small and large)Dish towels
Baking sheet: for baking, roasting and broiling; these are cheap, so it might be good to have one for pastries and one for other foodsCasserole dish with lid: for casseroles, gratins, lasagna and other baked dishesLarge (12-inch), deep skillet with lid: for braising, pan-roasting, pan-frying and simmering
Medium (10-inch) cast-iron skillet: for pan-searing, sauteeing and making cornbread
Small (10-inch or 8-inch) nonstick skillet: for making eggs only
Nonstick pan with high, curved sides: not essential but useful if you stir-fry
Large pot with lid: for soups, stock, stew, braises, roasts, no-knead bread and boiling water for pasta; a dutch oven is ideal
Medium pot with lid: for boiling, simmering, steaming, reheating, melting and making sauces
Colander: for draining pasta and washing fruits and vegetables
Serving tray or platter
Utensils: whisk, tongs, food turner, wooden spoon, rubber
Knives: chef’s knife, paring knife and serrated knife for bread
Cutting boards: one plastic for meats, one of any material but glass for everything else; I think it is also nice to have one wooden one for making and cutting bread
Something for pureeing: food processor, stick blender or food mill; I have all 3 but probably don’t need them all (the food processor is the biggest space hog but also handy for thinly slicing vegetable, grating a block of cheese and kneading pizza dough).
Bowls: at least 3 of various sizes
Measuring cups (dry and liquid) and spoons
Coffee grinder and press pot: Maybe not a necessity for everyone, but definitely for me
Toaster: I have a combination toaster and toaster oven, which I love.
Bake – Cook with dry, in an oven.
Batter – A mixture of flour, eggs, dairy, or other ingredients that is liquid enough to pour.
Beat – Stir together very rapidly in order to incorporate air. This can be achieved with a spoon, whisk, electric mixer, or food processor.
Blend – Stir ingredients together until well mixed.
Caramelize – Heat a sugar substance until it begins to turn brown.
Combine – Stir ingredients together just until mixed.
Cream – Beat together sugar and butter until a light, creamy texture and color has been achieved. This method adds air to batter, which helps the leavening process. Sometimes eggs are also added during the creaming step.
Cut In – Incorporating butter (or another solid fat) into flour just until the fat is in small, granular pieces resembling coarse sand. This is achieved by using two knives in a cross cutting motion, forks, or a special pastry cutter.
Drizzle – Pour a thin stream of a liquid on top of something.
Dust – Coat the surface of something with a light sprinkling of a dry substance (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, etc.).
Fold – Gently combine two substances in effort to not deflate a delicate, lofty texture. Using a spatula, fold the bottom of the bowl up and over the top, turn the bowl 90
degrees, fold again, and repeat the process until combined.
Glaze – Coat with a thick, sugar based sauce.
Grease – Coat the inside of a baking dish or pan with a fatty substance (oil, butter, lard) to prevent sticking.
Knead – Combine dough by hand on a
hard surface. This involves folding the dough over, pressing down, turning 90 degrees and then repeating the process. Kneading mixes dough as well as developing gluten strands that give strength to breads and other baked goods.
Lukewarm – Slightly warm, or around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Proof – Allowing bread dough to rise or yeast to activate.
Rolling Boil – Water that boils with large, fast, and vigorous bubbles.
Scald – Heat to near boiling.
Score – Cut lines or slits into something.
Softened – A solid, high fat content substance that has been brought to room temperature in order to make it more pliable.
Soft Peaks – Egg whites or cream that has been whipped to the point at which a peak will bend or slump over to one side. To create a peak, pull the whisk or beater straight up and out of the foam.
Stiff Peaks – Egg whites or cream that has been whipped to the point at which a peak will stand completely erect. To create a peak, pull the whisk or beater straight up and out of the foam.
Whip – Stir briskly with a whisk to incorporate air.
Whisk – A kitchen tool made of wire loops that tends to add air as it mixes substances together.